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Asset Tracking: Key Concepts and Applications

Updated: May 12


location tags

From warehouses to manufacturing plants to fleet operators and more, businesses in certain industries rely on critical physical assets to ensure smooth operations. Whether it’s inventory, machinery, or a fleet of delivery vehicles, asset tracking systems give businesses the power to locate and monitor these assets regardless of where they may be. 

Read on to learn about:

  1. Understanding Asset Tracking

  2. Types of Asset Tracking Systems

  3. Implementing an Asset Tracking System 

  4. Future Trends in Asset Tracking

  5. Deeyook’s Approach to Asset Tracking


Understanding Asset Tracking

Asset tracking is a way to keep tabs on your physical inventory. It involves using technology like tags or devices attached to different assets, which can then communicate their location (and other information depending on the sensors used) with a central system. This allows you to pinpoint the exact location of your assets, whether they're on a warehouse shelf or halfway across the country on a delivery truck.  

Benefits of asset tracking include:  

  • Reduced Costs: Asset tracking helps eliminate time wasted searching for objects and keeps your team focused on income-generating tasks.

  • Loss Prevention: Asset tracking puts an end to misplaced shipments or mysteriously missing tools, and minimizes the risk of loss or theft.

  • Improved Efficiency: Knowing exactly where everything is allows businesses to optimize their workspace layout and streamline workflows.  

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Asset tracking can help you locate items quickly, allowing you to provide faster service and keep customers happy.

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: By analyzing the data collected through asset tracking (particularly real-time data), businesses can make data-driven decisions to improve processes, optimize resource allocation, and gain a competitive edge.


Types of Asset Tracking Systems

There are a variety of solutions for tracking assets. Here's an overview of the most common types of asset tracking systems:

  • Barcode-based Asset Tracking: A tried-and-true method, barcode tracking uses labels with machine-readable codes attached to assets. These codes are scanned with handheld devices, logging the location and status of the asset in a database. They are simple to implement, affordable, and reliable for static assets that are within line-of-sight. However, because they require manual scanning, they are less efficient for large-scale deployments and have limited capabilities beyond the location they are in.

  • RFID Asset Tracking: Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) uses smart tags that emit radio signals. RFID readers can scan these signals to identify and track assets, offering faster and more reliable reading than barcodes, even without direct line-of-sight. On the downside, tags are more expensive than barcodes, and metal surfaces can interfere with signal transmission, so you need to make sure the environment is suitable.

  • GPS Asset Tracking: For real-time location tracking of mobile assets like vehicles, trailers, or containers, GPS is the go-to solution. GPS devices transmit location data via satellite signals, providing visibility almost anywhere with a clear sky. More expensive than other options, it may not function well indoors or in areas with limited sky visibility.

Implementing an Asset Tracking System

When setting up an asset tracking system, keep the following steps in mind: 


  1. Define Your Needs:  An effective asset tracking system starts off with a clear set of aims and objectives. Identify the assets that need to be tracked and the level of detail required. For example, do you simply require location data, or are you interested in additional insights like temperature (for perishables) or operational status (for machinery)? By clearly defining your needs, you'll be able to choose the most appropriate asset tracking technology and tailor the system to provide the most valuable insights for your business.

  2. Choose the Right Technology: There are a variety of asset tracking technologies available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You need to consider budget, asset types, and desired functionality. For example, real-time location updates might require GPS tracking, while barcode scanning might be sufficient for static assets within a warehouse.

  3. Develop a Deployment Plan: A well-defined deployment plan is the key to a smooth rollout. This includes determining a tagging strategy (who will attach the tracking devices?), ensuring software integration with existing systems, and providing employee training on the new system and its benefits.

Future Trends in Asset Tracking

Asset tracking technology is constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Some exciting trends that will shape the future include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML will transform asset tracking from simple location monitoring into a strategic tool for optimizing asset utilization and security. For example, AI systems can be used to analyze historical data on asset movement patterns within a warehouse. This data could be used to optimize warehouse layout, placing frequently accessed items in the most accessible locations. AI can also learn from security footage to identify unusual movement patterns, potentially flagging potential theft attempts.  

  • Predictive Maintenance Through Asset Tracking: By leveraging sensor data on things like vibration, temperature, and energy consumption, asset tracking systems can predict potential equipment failures before they occur. This will allow businesses to shift from reactive maintenance (fixing things when they break) to proactive maintenance (addressing issues before they escalate), saving time, and money, and maximizing equipment uptime.

  • Integration with the Internet of Things (IoT): As the number of interconnected devices continues to explode, asset-tracking systems will seamlessly integrate with the broader IoT ecosystem. It won't be beyond possibility to have a scenario where your delivery truck's GPS data automatically updates your warehouse management system, triggering the order fulfillment process even before the truck arrives. This level of real-time data exchange will revolutionize operational efficiency and supply chain management.

These are just a few of the exciting trends that will shape the future of asset tracking. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative solutions that will transform the way assets are tracked, managed, and used.  


Deeyook: Turning Existing Wi-Fi into a Powerful Tracking Tool

Deeyook takes a unique approach to asset tracking by leveraging the power of existing Wi-Fi infrastructure with a unique combination of interferometry and and AI-based physical model, offering the following benefits: 

  • Ubiquity: Deeyook provides accurate location information for all assets in all locations, both indoors and outdoors.

  • Precision: Deeyook offers a high level of precision, locating assets with an accuracy of 10 cm. (4 in.).   

  • Scalability: With no expensive infrastructure required, it is easy to scale with Deeyook as your company grows and asset tracking needs expand. 

Deeyook: Your Partner in Optimized Asset Tracking Systems

Asset tracking offers a powerful solution for gaining control of your assets - reducing costs, improving efficiency, enhancing customer service, and minimizing losses. The future of asset tracking is even brighter, with AI and the Internet of Things poised to unlock even greater capabilities.

Don't wait to unlock the power of asset tracking in your business. Contact Deeyook today to assess your needs, explore the available technologies, and chart your course toward a more streamlined and efficient operation. 






FAQ

What exactly is asset tracking?

Asset tracking means using sensors and other technological devices to monitor the location of physical assets such as equipment, inventory, vehicles or even employees. 

How does asset tracking benefit businesses?

Asset tracking benefits businesses by reducing costs and improving efficiency. Significant time (and therefore money and other resources) are wasted searching for misplaced equipment, delayed inventory, or other assets. If these assets are continuously being monitored and tracked, items are not lost and workflows can be optimized for greater efficiency. 

What steps are involved in implementing an asset tracking system?

To implement an asset tracking system, it is important to first define your company’s specific needs. Once you’ve clarified your objectives, the next step is to identify the technologies and solutions that best meet your needs. For example, if you are tracking inventory as it travels to and from the warehouse, you will need a solution that doesn’t require continuous line-of-sight. Finally, you need to create a deployment plan including who will be responsible for overseeing the deployment and ongoing use of the asset tracking system. 


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